SINGAPORE – The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said on Wednesday night (Dec 30) that it is looking into a possible breach of Covid-19 safety measures on board a Royal Caribbean cruise.

A group of more than 10 men and women had gathered to take photos on Dec 20 and 21 while they were on the ship.

In the photos which some of them posted on their public Instagram accounts, members of the group are unmasked and standing less than 1m apart from one another.

Before Monday, social gatherings of more than five people were prohibited during phase two of Singapore’s re-opening. Since then with phase three kicking in, the rule has been eased but gatherings of more than eight people are still not allowed.

Responding to queries from The Straits Times, Ms Annie Chang, STB’s director of cruise said on Wednesday that STB is aware of the alleged incident and is looking into the matter.

“We take a serious view of any breach in safe management measures on cruises departing from Singapore. The safety of passengers and crew is our priority, and regular on-board inspections are conducted during sailings to ensure compliance,” she said.

Cruise lines that do not comply with STB’s CruiseSafe penalty framework will be subject to penalties, which can include fines, suspension of sailings and having their CruiseSafe certification revoked.

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A Royal Caribbean International spokesman acknowledged the incident and added it is investigating.

“The recent breach in safe distancing measures seems to have been an instance where a group gathered for some pictures,” said the cruise operator.

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It reiterated that the same measures malls and restaurants abide by apply on board its cruises.

Royal Caribbean International added that its staff are trained to remind guests to comply with health and safety regulations onboard.

“We would like to remind our guests that any failure to comply with the rules will lead to enforcement action, including being denied boarding or removal from the ship,” it said.

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This article was first published in The Straits Times.



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